A few weeks later,, on March 15., the Polish Underground, which had
in the meantime expanded its Political Representation to include all
existing parties, issued a Declaration, in which was explained the
basis of Poland's policy and aims. It can be quoted also as the most
authoritative answer on the Stalin-Churchill proposal regarding the
partition of Poland. It read :
" The struggle still continues. The story with our country's eternal foe
from the West is not yet finished. And yet in spite of our country's vast
contributions to the cause of the democracies of the world, in spite of her
four years continuous fight with the bloody occupant of her land, a hand
from the East has reached out for Poland's eastern provinces. And more3
even the brain behind that hand is endeavouring to force its method of
ruling on to the Polish nation."
" On the East of Poland,, the frontier established in the Riga Treaty must
be preserved . . . The people of Poland believe in the victory of right and
justice and decidedly reject any thoughts of territorial concessions in the East.
" The Polish people^ united in a love of freedom and in the endeavour
of independence, will unanimously and firmly oppose all attempts to impose
upon them any rule coming from the East . . .
" Our present firmness has its source in the thousand year old tradition
of a fight for the freedom and culture of Western Europe."
Therefore the proposal which the Polish Government made in February,
to negotiate with the Soviets on the ground that some war-time demarca-
tion line might be created between Polish and Soviet administration
east of Wilno and Lwow, and that the Polish frontier would be stabilised
after the war, was not supported by the country. Premier Mikolajczyk
admitted this fact in an interview published in the Manchester Guardian
on June 2, where he expressed the hope that his country would agree
with his solution. However, the country rejected the idea and reiterated
its opinion that there could not be any bargaining over Polish territory or
over its frontier with Russia. The Government had gone further than
the Polish Political Representation inside the State had authorised.
Under normal conditions., such a step would have meant the formation of
a new government, but, in the existing complicated situation., where the
Government was abroad and those who gave it the plenipotentiary powers
were unable under the guard of the invader, to follow all the shades of
diplomatic disturbances, any such change could not be settled in a short
time. But one fact stood out plainly, the Polish Government clearly
emphasised that it was without authority to make any renouncements and
that any frontier question could be settled only at the Peace Conference.
In the debate which followed Churchill's speech, the Government and
House of Commons reiterated that the restoration of a real independence
to Poland should be regarded as one of the aims of Britain's foreign policy.
The Prime Minister had repeated Stalin's words regarding a e strong,
integral, independent Poland as one of the leading Powers in Europe/
Every Soviet Republic, according to Soviet belief, was c integral,5 but
what meaning had this term on February 22, in the House of Commons,